Florida International University has several experts on local, state, national and international politics, as well as other fields, available to comment on the upcoming election. Our experts can discuss a wide range of subjects, including the Latino vote, Florida politics, taxes, foreign relations and the environment. Many of them are available for interviews in both English and Spanish
For questions or assistance in contacting any of the following experts, please call the Office of Media Relations:
- Maydel Santana, director: 305-348-1555, email@example.com
- Madeline Baro, assoc. director: 305-310-9665, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dianne Fernandez, broadcast media specialist: 305-608-4870, email@example.com
- Jean Milán, account manager for the Office of Media Relations: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Amy Ellis, communications manager, Steven J. Green School of International & Public Affairs: 305-348-5360, email@example.com
- Evelyn Perez, account manager, marketing & PR, College of Arts & Sciences: 305-348-4493, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Ileana Varela, assoc. director, marketing & PR, Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine: 305-348-4926, email@example.com
- Cynthia Corzo, assistant director, media relations & communications, College of Business: 305-348-1664, firstname.lastname@example.org
Frank Mora is the director of the Kimberly Green Latin American and Caribbean Center. Prior to coming to FIU, Mora served as Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for the Western Hemisphere. During the last twenty years Mora worked as a consultant to the Library of Congress, U.S. Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, the Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), the National Democratic Institute, U.S. State Department, the Organization of American States, and U.S. Southern Command. Mora is the author or editor of five books and numerous academic and policy articles, book chapters, and monographs on hemispheric security, U.S.-Latin American relations, civil-military relations, Cuban politics and military, and Latin American foreign policy. He is a recipient of the Outstanding Public Service Award, Department of Defense (2011). He is available for Spanish language interviews.
Political Science Professor Eduardo Gamarra has conducted two polls on Hispanic voters in the United States and Florida. He also has done research on the regional dynamics of Latin America, including Cuba’s role. As an expert in Bolivia and the Andean region, he has followed closely the alliances formed by Fidel Castro, Bolivian President Evo Morales and Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez. Gamarra has also studied drug trafficking in the Caribbean and the effects of American policies in the regional dynamics. He has testified in front of the U.S. Congress several times and is the author of more than half a dozen books and more than forty academic articles on Latin America. Gamarra is available for interviews in English and Spanish.
Brian Fonseca is director of the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy at FIU’s Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs. Fonseca serves as the institute’s technical expert for national security and foreign policy. He has been featured in local and national media analyzing the 2016 U.S. general elections. He joined FIU after serving as the senior research manager for socio-cultural analysis at United States Southern Command. Fonseca holds degrees in international business and international relations from FIU and has attended Sichuan University in Chengdu, China and the National Defense University in Washington D.C. From 1997 to 2004, he served in the United States Marine Corps and facilitated the training of foreign military forces in both hostile theaters and during peacetime operations.
Randy Pestana serves as a policy analyst at FIU’s Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy, where he specializes in international relations with a focus on U.S. foreign policy, electoral politics, global security and U.S.-Latin American relations. His work examines governance and security in the Western Hemisphere including U.S. national security strategy, civil-military relations and rule of law. Pestana is charged with leading the Gordon Institute’s 2016 Presidential Election coverage and has conducted numerous interviews with both local and national media. Pestana is an adjunct professor for the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs and the Honors College. He holds an M.A. in Latin American and Caribbean Studies with a graduate certificate in National Security Studies from FIU.
Dario Moreno, Ph.D.
Associate Professor in the Department of Politics & International Relations in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public Affairs at Florida International University. He holds a Ph.D. from the University of Southern California. He conducts research on Miami politics, Florida politics, and Cuban-American politics. He has published over 20 scholarly articles, book chapters, and two books. Dr. Moreno is a nationally recognized expert on Florida and Miami politics and is often quoted in both the national and local media. He has been a Pew Scholar at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a Fulbright scholar in Costa Rica. He teaches courses on Miami politics, Cuban politics, Florida politics and urban politics.
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
Sara Moats is an instructor in FIU’s Department of Politics and International Relations. Moats has an interest in group politics and studies group interactions from several perspectives. Her research analyzes how and why organized interests become involved with foreign governments and intergovernmental organizations, and why a group would expand beyond the domestic political arena to lobby additional venues. Moats is currently examining group involvement in several different policy areas, including environmental policy and human rights.
Kathryn A. DePalo
DePalo, a lecturer in the Department of Politics and International Relations, has extensive experience in state and local government processes and elections both in Connecticut and Florida. She has managed several campaigns, including a successful countywide judicial campaign in Broward County, Florida. Her teaching focus is American politics, including judicial process, gender and politics, and state and local government. DePalo’s primary research interest is in Florida politics, and has published on topics such as state judicial selection, the effects of gender in state legislative politics, and career paths of term-limited legislators. For a video of DePalo please click here.
Please see biography above.
Kevin Evans is an assistant professor of political science in the Department of Politics and International Relations at FIU. His teaching and research interests focus on the presidency and Congress. He is particularly interested in presidential power and inter-branch relations. His research has been featured in several scholarly journals, including American Politics Research, Congress and the Presidency, Political Research Quarterly, and Presidential Studies Quarterly. Evans is currently working on several projects that concern presidential signing statements, legislative vetoes, and executive orders. For a video of Evans, please click here.
USE OF SPANISH IN AMERICAN POLITICS
Phillip M. Carter
Phillip M. Carter is an assistant professor in the FIU Department of English. He is a sociolinguist and a scholar of language and culture in U.S. Latino communities specializing in issues related to language in U.S. Latino communities, including Spanish in the United States, Spanish/English bilingualism, Spanish in U.S. politics, and popular discourses about language. Carter most recently published a chapter for a book titled Spanish as a Heritage and Minority Language in the United States about the use of Spanish in American politics that is set to be published in 2016. Carter teaches courses at FIU on sociolinguistics, language in U.S. Latino communities, languages and cultures and the world, gender and language, and others. Carter is affiliate faculty in FIU’s Cuban Research Institute, Latin American and Caribbean Center, African and African Diaspora Studies Program and Women’s and Gender Studies Program.
José M. Gabilondo
Jose Gabilondo is a professor of law at FIU’s College of Law. Prior to joining FIU Law, Gabilondo worked in the financial market regulation at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the World Bank. Gabilondo teaches tax and corporate finance. His scholarship focuses on debt markets and (separately) heterosexual subject formation in law. He has presented his research at the Universities of Chicago, Buffalo, Columbia, Maryland, DePaul, Emory, Florida State, Georgetown, and Wake Forest, and American University. He is co-author of Corporate Finance: Debt, Equity, and Derivative Markets and their Intermediaries in the American Casebook Series. He has been a featured speaker at meetings of the American Society for International Law, the American Association of Law Schools, the Latin American Law and Economics Association, the Association for the Study of the Cuban Economy, the Georgetown University Conference on Socio-Economics, Law and Society, the American Association of University Professors, LatCrit, and the Latin American Studies Association. He is a nationally recognized commentator in the Spanish-language media on financial and economic matters.
Jerry Haar is a professor of management and international business. He was Director of Washington Programs for the Council of the Americas, a New York-based business association of over 200 corporations comprising a majority of U.S. private investment in Latin America, and served as Special Assistant to two cabinet secretaries. He can address issues of international business, politics, and economics including the economies of Latin America, financial markets, and competitiveness.
Ediberto Román is a nationally-acclaimed scholar and an award-winning educator with broad teaching interests and an extensive scholarship portfolio. Before entering academia, he specialized in securities and antitrust litigation at several Wall Street law firms. His teaching experience includes contracts, torts, corporations, comparative corporate law, products liability, agency and partnership, antitrust, citizenship studies, law and accounting, race and the law, remedies and street law. He has written dozens of articles, essays and book chapters. He has kept a particularly hectic schedule, which has often led him to provide television and radio interviews for local, state and national media outlets. His essays, op-eds and interviews have appeared in virtually every newspaper in the state. He has been asked to testify before governmental bodies on immigration reform, and has visited the White House on several occasions to address matters related to immigration policy, and the judicial vacancy debate. His principal research interest involves analyzing the construction and interpretation of constitutional law and immigration policy. His work may be best described as traditional in its structure and use of authority, but critical in its perspective. His research necessarily deals with the intersection of, on the one hand, citizenship law, immigration law, public international law, and constitutional law and, on the other hand, theoretical perspectives based on classic philosophy, neo-liberal theory, critical race theory, post-colonial studies, diaspora literature, and social theory generally. Areas of interest and expertise include constitution law, civil rights and diversity issues.
José M. Gabilondo
Please see biography above.
Please see biography above.
Please see biography above.
Please see biography above.
For our Cuba experts list, please click here.
Europe and Russia
Dr. Kostadinova’s research and teaching interests include Central and Eastern European political institutions with a special emphasis on elections, electoral systems and electoral behavior; institutional reform; democratic transition; political corruption; comparative public policy; and public support for foreign policies. Kostadinova’s book Political Corruption in Eastern Europe: Politics After Communism (2012) analyzes the emergence of corruption as a major obstacle to successful democratic transition. Kostadinova teaches undergraduate courses in Russian and Eastern European politics, electoral behavior, and research methods, and graduate courses in institutional choice, democratic transitions, political parties, and advanced research. She has also conducted field work in Bulgaria, Serbia and Macedonia. Kostadinova has authored and co-authored articles, book chapters and book reviews. Kostadinova can talk about U.S. diplomatic relations with Russia. She is fluent in English, Bulgarian and Russian.
Dr. Thiel’s areas of expertise include the politics of the European Union and Western Europe, as well as its political sociology and identity. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on international relations, comparative Western European politics, European Union Politics, international relations of Europe, and international organizations. He has published several articles and book chapters at the European Union Center of Excellence, as well as in Transatlantic Monthly, International Studies Compendium, Journal of Human Rights, Perspectives on European Politics & Society, and the Journal of European Integration. He has also published The Limits of Transnationalism: Collective Identities and EU Integration (2011) and co-edited three volumes, including Diversity and the European Union (2009), Identity Politics in the Age of Globalization (2010), and European Identity and Culture: Narratives of Transnational Belonging (2012). Thiel is a research associate at the Miami-Florida European Union Center of Excellence and is an affiliated faculty member of the FIU European Studies Program. Thiel is available for interviews for European-Union related questions on the immigration crisis in Europe and other topics.
Eric Lob is an assistant professor in the Department of Politics and International Relations. Lob’s research focuses on the intersection of development and politics in the Middle East. His research specifically examines how state and non-state actors in the region use development to further their political interests domestically and internationally. He has conducted extensive fieldwork in Iran, Lebanon, and Syria. Lob teaches courses on Middle Eastern politics and international relations, the Arab-Israeli conflict, and political violence and revolution. He has traveled extensively throughout the region and is proficient in Arabic, Persian, and French. Lob can speak about about the Middle East’s historical and contemporary issues, events, policies, developments, and trends, such as America’s allies and local governments, popular uprisings and regional instability (Iraq, Syria, and Yemen), the US invasion of Iraq and rise of ISIS/ISIL, the Saudi-Iranian rivalry and Iranian nuclear program, and Israeli-Palestinian conflict and peace.
Please see biography above.
Edward Glab is director of the FIU Global Energy Security Forum and a member of the Graduate Faculty (Politics and International Relations) in the Steven J. Green School of International and Public affairs. He has over four decades of experience in the energy field, including 25 years as an executive in the private sector. Glab is an expert on various aspects of the global energy industry, including political risk analysis and government relations, and he has conducted business and academic work in every country of Latin America and dozens of other around the world from Asia and Africa to Europe and Australia. Glab speaks Spanish and has published in the area of bilingual/bicultural education.
Ryan Stoa is a senior scholar at FIU’s College of Law. Stoa’s professional expertise and scholarly research is focused on international water law, water governance frameworks, environmental conflict resolution and international ocean and marine resources law. His courses include Water Resources Law, Ocean and Coastal Law, and Integrated Solutions for Water in Environment and Development. As deputy director of the FIU School of the Environment, Arts, and Society’s Global Water for Sustainability Program, Stoa provides management support and legal expertise to USAID-funded projects in Tanzania, Rwanda, Kenya, Burkina Faso, Niger, Mali, Ghana, and the Republic of Georgia. He is the Program Executive Officer of a $6.5 million watershed management program in the Republic of Georgia that promotes an integrated, cross-sectoral approach to natural resources management. Stoa is also an Affiliate Faculty member of the FIU School of International and Public Affairs’ African and African Diaspora Studies Program.
HEALTH CARE POLICY
John A. Rock, M.D.
Only the fourth individual since 1980 to guide the growth and development of a new U.S. allopathic medical school, Dr. Rock, founding dean and senior vice president for medical affairs at FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, is former director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and the Department of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions. During his tenure at Louisiana State University Health Science, he served as chancellor of the Health Sciences Center and had management oversight of Louisiana’s statewide Charity Hospital System. Vast experience in administration and research has served him well. At Emory, for example, he boosted the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology’s National Institutes of Health’s ranking from 66th in the nation to 18th; at LSU, he established a School of Public Health and increased the medical school’s research funding by almost 85 percent.
Pedro José “Joe” Greer, Jr., M.D.
For more than two decades Dr. Greer, assistant dean of academic affairs at FIU’s Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine, has brought health care to the poor and the disadvantaged. His autobiography, “Waking Up in America: How One Doctor Brings Hope to Those Who Need It Most”, details his early years as a physician delivering care to patients living under highway overpasses in Miami. Recognized by Presidents Clinton, Bush, Sr., and Carter for his work with Miami’s poor, Dr. Greer, a native Miamian, is the founder of Camillus Health Concern, an agency that provides medical care to the city’s homeless, and the St. John Bosco Clinic, which assists undocumented immigrants. He is also the recipient of three Papal Medals as well as the prestigious MacArthur “genius grant.” In 2009, Dr. Greer accepted the nation’s highest civilian honor – the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Dr. Greer is available for interviews in English and Spanish.
Carolyn D. Runowicz, M.D.
The executive associate dean for Academic Affairs, Dr. Runowicz, is a nationally prominent expert in gynecologic cancers and women’s health who has helped develop multidisciplinary research teams in immunology, cancer prevention, and molecular medicine. Before coming to FIU, Dr. Runowicz was a professor of obstetrics and gynecology and held a position as the Northeast Utilities Chair in Experimental Oncology at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. She also served as Director of the Carole and Ray Neag Comprehensive Cancer Program at the University of Connecticut Health Center. Among her many leadership positions in national organizations, Dr. Runowicz was the first female president of the Society of Gynecologic Oncologists, Chair of the National Cancer Advisory Board, President of the American Cancer Society and the first gynecologic oncologist to serve on the Board of Directors for the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Timothy Page joined the faculty of the Department of Health Policy & Management in 2008 after completing a Ph.D. in economics at the University of New Hampshire. His areas of research include health economics, health policy & program evaluation, econometric modeling & data analysis, and economic evaluation of patient outcomes & healthcare costs. Page’s research in the economic evaluation of patient outcomes and healthcare cost encompasses several topic areas, including chronic disease management, community-based healthy aging initiatives, managed care models for chronically ill patients, HIV/AIDS prevention, long-term care for the elderly and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. When speaking about his work in South Florida, Page always emphasizes that “it has been a privilege to partner with so many wonderful organizations in the community, academia and industry to find solutions for the healthcare challenges facing our nation in the 21st century.”
BABY BOOMERS & AGING
Elena Bastida is a professor and the chair of the Department of Health Promotion & Disease Prevention. Elena Bastida’s research focus is gerontology; specifically behavior, expectation, aging norms and aging stereotypes. She led the 12-year Border Epidemiologic Study on Aging (NIH-BESA). Bastida also conducts NIH supported community based participatory research on Latino health. Her teaching has received statewide and national recognition with two national role model awards for research mentoring of minority students. She works closely with Pan American Health and Latin American universities in advancing research and training throughout the region. In 2009 she received the Public Health Hero Award from Research America.
GAY AND LESBIAN POLITICS
José M. Gabilondo
Please see biography above.
Cyra Choudhury is a professor at FIU’s College of Law. Prior to joining the FIU Law faculty, Choudhury worked for The National Academies advising the federal government on international labor standards and Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, one of the largest international law firms in the world, in their corporate finance practice. Choudhury’s expertise is in international and comparative family law; gender and postcolonial theory; subjectivity and legal theory; and international labor law and labor migration. She has written and lectured on Islamic law and Muslims as minorities and national security law. In 2012,Choudhury was awarded a grant from the Institute for Global Law and Policy (IGLP) at Harvard Law School to study domestic migrant workers from South Asia to the Gulf. She has served as a docent for the IGLP workshops for the past three years. She is part of a number of research groups including the Ottoman Legacies in Post-conflict societies, an initiative started at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, UK; a network of TWAIL scholars whose reach is global; and a critical human rights study group funded by IGLP at Harvard Law School. Choudhury’s work has appeared in the Michigan Journal of International Law, Akron Law Review, and the University of Colorado Law Review. She has appeared as an expert witness in a number of transnational family law cases and has been interviewed by national media outlets on both the Middle East and Islamic law as well as on family law matters. She is a member of the Middle East Studies faculty at FIU and is able to speak about Islamophobia and Muslims in the United States.
José M. Gabilondo
Please see biography above.
FAMILY PLANNING & WOMEN’S HEALTH
Purnima Madhivanan, M.D.
Purnima Madhivanan, an infectious disease epidemiologist, is an associate professor and the director of the Epidemiology Ph.D. Program. Dr. Madhivanan serves as an advisor to a number of state departments of public health, as well as non-profit and governmental research organizations. In 2007, she received the prestigious International Leadership Award from the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation for her work on prevention of mother-to-child-transmission of HIV. Her current research focuses on women’s health across their lifespans. Her research areas include reproductive health as well as primary and secondary prevention of cervical cancer.
Stephen Leatherman is a coastal scientist who is an expert in sea-level rise, storm impacts, beach erosion and rip currents. Leatherman is internationally known as “Dr. Beach” for his annual selection of the “Top 10 Beaches” in the United States.
Office: 305-348-6304 or 305-348-1339
Joel Trexler is currently the director of the Marine Sciences Program at FIU. He earned a Ph.D. in Biological Science from Florida State University and holds the rank of professor of Biological Science at FIU, where he has worked for 24 years. He is an ecologist who has studied the Everglades for over 20 years. His research covers population and community ecology, as well as evolutionary ecology. He has published articles on the controls of population and community dynamics, spatial ecology, life history evolution, and spatial ecology of aquatic animals, mostly fish. He has published over 115 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters and co-edited a book on monitoring ecosystems. Trexler has extensive editorial experience and is currently the editor-in-chief of Aquatic Ecology for the journal Oecologia, as well serving on the editorial boards of the journals Ecology and Biological Invasions. Trexler has contributed to efforts to restore and manage the Everglades by monitoring fish and macroinvertebrates throughout the ecosystem and has served as a co-principle investigator and collaborator in the Florida Coastal Everglades Long-Term Ecological Research (FCE LTER) program.
Please see biography above.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
Scott Fingerhut, is the assistant director of the Trial Advocacy Program, the College of Law faculty fellow and the director of Pre-Law Programs, at FIU’s Honors College. Fingerhut has more than 16 years of law teaching experience and 23 years as an AV-Preeminent Peer Review Rated criminal trial and appellate litigator. In 2000, he accepted a four-year appointment in FIU’s School of Policy and Management, teaching Criminal Constitutional Law and Procedure, Criminal Law Theory, Law and Social Control, and Judicial Process and Policy in the undergraduate and Master’s Degree criminal justice programs. For the past six years, Fingerhut has served as Assistant Director of the FIU College of Law’s Trial Advocacy Program, teaching Trial Advocacy, Pretrial Litigation (criminal and civil), Criminal Procedure, Criminal Law, and the Criminal and Civil Law Externship Clinic. To maintain his undergraduate ties, Fingerhut was made a Faculty Fellow in The Honors College at FIU, and, recently, was named Director of The Honors College Pre-Law Programs. A frequent lecturer and writer on criminal justice matters, Fingerhut is called upon often to pen amicus briefs on behalf of local, state, and national organizations in defense of our liberties.
Tim Goddard is an assistant professor in the FIU Department of Criminal Justice. Goddard studies criminal justice and crime policy trends in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. He can speak to the subject of releasing non-violent offenders. Although his current research focuses on youth offender interventions and community-based crime prevention, much of his research overlaps with the subject of releasing non-violent offenders. Dr. Goddard teaches courses in criminal justice and public policy, criminal justice policy analysis, and punishment and society.